2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Picks + Predictions Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #Firestone

Following a brief jaunt North of the border, the PGA Tour is back in the U.S. for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.  It’s one of my favorite non-majors of the year, as Firestone is a great track and always provides a stern test and a thrilling tourney; however, it’s also always a bit depressing as I mentally associate the Ohio track with the beginning of the end of summer.

How in the world is at already August, how is there only one major left and how, just how do people keep shooting in the freaking 50’s?!  Ok, onward we move.

As mentioned above, Firestone annually means a beastly tough, but fair golf course with long rough, blazing fast greens and trees galore.  The course plays to a beefy 7,400 yards and a par 70, so driver pitch and putt it is not.

With fairways paralleling themselves throughout most of the course, it’s a grip-it-and-rip-it mentality for most in the field as stray drives still allow for punch outs to the green, rather than re-teeing.  So, basically that means that with the long holes that we get to see players bash it off the tee all round long.  Count me among those happy to see the big dog in the hands of the best players in the world all day long.  This year’s British Open was great, but it can become a bit of a yawn-fest when it’s 3 and 4-iron city all day off the tee.

The tourney is an exclusive 78 player field and it has no cut, meaning that we may see Rory around on the weekend for a change (badaboom).  In all seriousness though, Tiger, Phil, Rory, Lee, Adam, Bubba, Luke, Dustin, Brandt, Kuch, Rickie and others in the field guaranteed for four straight days equals yep, my weekend plans are set.

Following a rock solid week where I had both the victor (Sneeeeeedeker) and a t-2nd place finisher (Kuchar) in my RBC Canadian Open Lockzilla picks, here’s to keeping it rollin’ this week.

Now, onto some picks:

LOCKZILLAS: (Last week: Snedeker Win, Kuchar t-2nd)

Justin Rose
Justin Rose
– A bit of a hangover hiccup for the U.S. Open Champ as he MC’d at Muirfield, but I expect Rosey to whip himself back into form this week at Firestone.  Finished t-5th here last year and drives it long (29th Driving Distance), drives it straight (20th Driving Accuracy) and hits a ton of greens (12th GIR).  Yep, pretty good combo at any course, particularly at big boy ballpark like Firestone.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar
– Firestone just screams Kuch to me.  T-8th here last year, t-19th in ’11 and t-9th in ’10 is some mighty solid and steady stuff vs the top players in the world.  I can already see Kuch hoisting the trophy on the 18th green late Sunday (his 25/1 looks mighty juicy this week) as he moves back up in the serious POY discussion.  A must pick this week.

SEMI-FLIERS: (Last week: Stroud MC, DeLaet MC)

Angel Cabrera
Angel Cabrera
– Everyone always jokes about how Cabrera seems to only show up for the majors.  Well, that’s partly true as amazingly his only two wins in the states have been majors; however, if there’s any non-major that fits Angel’s game to a “T,” it’s Firestone.  A big-time basher off the tee, past success here (t-4th in ’09) and some solid form of late (t-9th, t-13th and t-11th last three starts) and I fancy Angel’s chances this week.

Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer
– The ’10 PGA Champ and former #1 in the world just has way too damn much talent to not play more consistent golf.  I have a sneaky good feeling we’ll see Martin make some noise at Firestone this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUSTS: (Last week: Els t-21st, Furyk t-9th)

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell
– I am a Graeme fan, but Firestone is simply too much golf course for his 173rd-In-Driving-Distance Irish lad (never finished better than t-22nd here in 6 career starts). For those in the Ohio area, expect a pair of early tee times for Sir McDowell through the weekend.

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson
– Zach has been hot of late, losing in a playoff at the John Deere Classic and finishing a solid t-6th at Muirfield in his last start, but that doesn’t translate into success this week.  Lack of distance off the tee and struggling accuracy at times this season will also have Zach morning dew dusting with Graeme this weekend.  It’s simply too much golf course for the Iowegian.  Let’s just hope he doesn’t call Firestone “manipulated” after he finishes a scrappy t-39th.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK: (Last week: Hearn t-44th)

Marcel Siem
Marcel Siem
– I went with the German ponytailed goose at the British Open as my DOTD Play of the Week and he missed the cut by one.  After a sneaky solid t-16th in Canada last week, I fancy his chances to creep that ponytail onto the first page of the leaderboard in this no-cut even come the weekend.  Seize that ponytail my friends and take a chance on Marcel this week…and thank me later.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf  

Comments

  1. Not too shabby last week on the Lockzillas!!

  2. Once again no Rickie on here…..

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